Sony Suing Over “Kevin Butler” Actor In Bridgestone Advert – TheSixthAxis

Sony Suing Over “Kevin Butler” Actor In Bridgestone Advert

According to reports surfacing in the last hour or so, Sony are (as far as I can tell from a quick scout) suing Bridgestone and an advertising agency over – it appears – the inclusion of Jerry Lambert in a Bridgestone advert that featured the Nintendo Wii.

The advertising agency has Lambert as the president.

Jerry Lambert, who played the character Kevin Butler for SCEA for some time, recently appeared in a Bridgestone advertisement that had a Wii insert, sporting Mario Kart Wii. It was a part of a promotion by the tyre company in which buying a set of tyres bagged you a $70 credit card or – yes – a Wii.

About a week before the promotion ended, Bridgestone swapped out the advert for a Lambert-less version, but it’s since emerged that on September 11th Sony filed their complaint. I won’t pretend to understand the legalese, but the first filing is here, the second, dated a couple of days ago, is here.

Sony’s case appears to be based on Trademark Infringement of IP rather than being specifically about advertising a competitor’s product, even if it’s by extension. Does this mean Sony are claiming that the actor’s likeness is an IP?

Source, and more information: NeoGAF, Push Square.

19 Comments

  1. contract? love how people on here start blaming Sony just for the sake of it with no facts.

  2. from what i read on another site, sony say they’re suing because of the character of Kevin Butler.
    but Lambert’s not playing KB.
    are they trying to sue Lambert for this use of his own image?

    seems sony would have to prove Lambert was playing KB in that ad, i think it would take more than just looking like him, which being the same actor is kind of unavoidable.

    whatever happens, i think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing KB again, not played by Jerry Lambert at least.

    even in the unlikely, in my opinion, event they win, they’ve just sued to protect an ad campaign they’ve just effectively destroyed.

    • “seems sony would have to prove Lambert was playing KB in that ad, i think it would take more than just looking like him, which being the same actor is kind of unavoidable.”

      Possibly not. They could just infer that viewers might be confused who’s who.

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